Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Small Business Owners – Self Care Tips



Taking care of your Mind, Body and Spirit

As a small business owner we are always really busy running our business, juggling working on the business V working in the business. For me personally this has always been a hurdle to overcome. Its important to network, consistent marketing, plan the month and the year and many more administrative tasks. Whilst every year I get better at the balance act their are some key reasons why. Do you want to know my secret? Well keep ready because its really simple, its not rocket science and its not a magic potion that promises a quick fix. Al I did was study what the successful people are doing............Simple right?.......................Yeah I know easier said than done!

Sometimes life gets on top of you and you can easily get out of balance, I know I have certainly been there before. As a small business owner you can spread yourself pretty thin at times and the things that work can go by the wayside, a balanced diet can seem challenging, time to exercise or meditate can seem almost impossible with your busy schedule. However what if you could get more done, be more productive, think clearer and feel more creative juices flowing. The biggest benefit for me personally has been quality sleep.

However it is important to recognise that this balance is what makes you so productive. I know that I am very productive and get many tasks done in a day that may take some people 3 days, only because I am organised and sharp, only because I look after my mind Body and spirit. Its a priority!

Mind – I am constantly filling my mind with good stuff, this could be educational, inspirational or even spiritual information or it could even be to address a skills gap or refresh a skill in sales, communication or best practice teaching techniques.

Information is everywhere and we have access to infinite amounts of information at the click of a finger these days. Ask yourself……what kind of information are you filling your mind with?
Are you listening to the news, are you constantly listening to talk back radio. Even the people we surround ourselves with can have a negative or positive impact on our life. What are you filling your mind with? Track this for a week and you may be surprised.
 
Body – Our body is the only house we live in and we have to make it last a lifetime. I often see retired sports men and women who nurse such terrible injuries and some people I know live with chronic pain from neglecting their body. I cant imagine waking up each day and starting with a feeling of pain or discomfort. Like me if you in you 40's you still have a long stay in your body. I have at least another 50 years in this house (body) of mine and I want to make sure it sustains me. My organs and especially core strength are going to ensure I balance and stability in old age.Working out vigorously for 30 minutes a day with 1 rest day is all it takes to make a difference and enjoy better health and a feeling of accomplishment. 

Spirit – The definition of spirit may vary in respect to meaning, For me spirit is being in balance, feeling content happy and deep feeling of well-being. By well-being I am referring to is inner peace and contentment, my body and mind feeling good. I achieve this through a number of strategies; the most important one to me is meditating, the art of being still and going within. I never really thought about this too much in my 20’s or even early 30’s, now that I am in my 40’s it is very high on the list of daily practice. If you need a place to start read 10 Mindful minutes by Goldie Hawn and you will see what this practice is doing for children in schools.

When you realise you are out of balance then that’s a good time to stop and reflect on how you can get some balance back into your life at a steady achievable pace. make sure it is something you can sustain long term. It’s a false concept to think you can get back in balance instantly because it wasn’t instantly that you became out of balance, chances are you became out of balance well before you recognised it.

What we know from many years of experience is that we do what is important to us or seems to be the priority. So if being in balance is a priority you will seek the answers you need.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Resilience Beyond Contemplation

"Resilience Beyond Contemplation" is a term I feel very strongly about as I don't think we realise how resilient we are until faced with challenges or adversity in our life. Resilience is the ability to bounce back, to learn from and grow from these moments. I would like you to also keep in mind that being resilient doesn't mean being a door mat and having to bounce back from other peoples bad behavior.

In business we need to have bucket loads of resilience to develop strategies and build businesses, we need to learn how to keep going when the door gets shut, when the phone hangs up on the 10th sales call or when the business is not progressing the way you would like it to. Resilience is also valuable when you have a high pressure career and you have teams that need managing, resilience allows you to be a leader.


Becoming a resilient individual
Resilience can come down to how we perceive a situation or an experience. Bouncing back after being bent out of shape, taken out of your comfort zone, or just having to deal with life challenges such as conflict, divorce or a major illness. Self talk is also a big part of building resilience, the more you tell yourself you can do it the more strength and determination you can build.
I think that we become more resilient when we learn strategies to overcome obstacles or hardship in life. To be a resilient individual you must ask yourself some important questions when faced with tough situations. Can I change the situation? if you cant then you need to move on and learn from this. Is this problem as big as I am making it? look at the problem with an open mind and see if you are simple making this bigger than it needs to be.Once the problem is resolved or dealt with as best you can reflect and learn from the situation so not to be in that position again.

Being part of a resilient team
A resilient team balance one another and keep the objectives clear, they fight the battles united and reach the top together, they build on one another strengths and overcome weaknesses together. After the battle is done they celebrate and come back stronger for the next challenge. They know that they can count on their colleagues and the resilient team grow stronger with every situation.

Creating a resilient organisation
leaders create resilient organisations by trust and integrity and helping people up. Up the ladder of leadership, Up the pathway of knowledge and into the realm of strategic thinking and then in turn create resilient teams leading by example. 
 
It is my belief that resilience is something that we are all born with and we continue to develop at a very young age, children themselves are very resilient, just look at those children going through Cancer and other illnesses, they fight hard and you will often see them smiling even at the toughest times. 
As we grow up I think we become less resilient based on how we are raised. Tough love is a term we have all heard and this can also be a means to creating resilience, however as adults we forget that we have resilience within us and when we get knocked down though adversity and challenge we forget how to get up again and keep fighting. Fear is also very debilitating if you let it overwhelm you. False Evidence Appearing Real is my way of looking at FEAR.

Over the weekend I heard a very profound statement by Will Smith in the movie "After Earth". I am referring to a moment where he describes how he learned to ghost and the point when he realised the Ursa (enemy) couldn't see him because he didn't FEAR it anymore and he describes this moment to his Son. FEAR is in our minds, Fear is a Choice he says, it is where we fear something that has not happened and may never happen in the future. I think FEAR can debilitate us from becoming resilient.

Create a resilient mind and strive to be the best that you can be no matter what obstacles come your way.

 Donna Moulds
 

Monday, September 2, 2013

Recognition of Accomplishment

Vocational Education and Training


Their are many awards that recognise the achievements of those that have done an outstanding job in one way or another. The ACT Training Excellence Awards 2013 this year commemorates the 76th year the awards have been celebrated. The Awards ceremony recognises the achievements of apprentices, trainees, vocational students, trainers, employers, schools and registered training organisations committed to vocational education and training.  In particular, the Awards acknowledge the outstanding contribution that employers make to training in the ACT region.

In 2012 Mantra Training & Development were proud to have 3 finalists in one category and this year we once again have finalists and look forward to celebrating their achievements. As we have said before "their are no winners or loser's in education only learners" so whether they win an award or not they have learned skills they can use for a lifetime.

2012 Australian Vocational Student Prize

This award recognises the outstanding achievement of students in Vocational Education and Training undertaking VET as part of their senior secondary certificate. This is a huge commitment and one that our student was very dedicated to achieving. Jessica completed 2 qualifications in her final years of school along with achieving her year 12 certificate. 

The team at Mantra Training & Development were very fortunate to meet a young girl a few years ago who was very dedicated and passionate about learning in the workplace. Jessica Shaw started out in a certificate II in Business in an events management organisation and then went on to work in the one of the Department of Educations Primary Schools to complete her certificate III in Business.

Jessica was very focused and knew what she wanted to achieve in respect to her own learning and development. It was our job to facilitate this dream into a reality, however Jessica made this journey very easy as she was always organised and never slacked off with her training. The workplace always enjoyed having Jessica as she consistently made a positive contribution and was eager to learn from who ever she could.

We need to acknowledge more stories like this one as Vocational Education and Training is vital to the community and SME Australia wide. Vocational Education and Training contribute to the reduction of skills shortages and ensure that trades and service skills such as Business, Financial Services and Information Technology continue to grow and develop in a rapidly changing environment.

If you would like to know more about VET, please contact us and we would be more than happy to provide you with information on how your business can contribute and benefit from Vocational Education and Training.

     

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Skills Gaps

HOW TO IDENTIFY AND OVERCOME SKILLS GAPS!

In life and in our careers we come across skills that we are good at some we are even great at and then their are those skills that we really struggle with. This could be communication, emotional intelligence, building rapport or just general communication skills and the worst one which has been shown to be one of the most feared skill of all is Public Speaking.

At times we have to get better at a skill because it holds us back from pursuing our dreams or its important to develop interpersonal relationships as we care for someone and if we don't connect we may miss out on something special. To go for that dream job we may need to be more confident, or learn how to articulate our self better. No matter what the gap is you can always find a way to build that skill just like you build a muscle.

Identify

SWOT Analysis

Doing a SWOT Analysis can help identify our Strength, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. Once we identify things we are not so good at we can focus on what we need to do to develop this weakness and use our strengths to build on our weakness's where possible.  If you have never done a SWOT Analysis before you could ask someone that will help you. 
NOTE: This person should know you reasonably well and be willing to be honest and constructive not critical.

Follow the steps below to discover more about yourself and have fun.

Step 1. Agree to be honest with yourself. This is not to make you feel bad or inadequate, this is to identify where you need to focus to obtain the skill or skills you want to be better at.
Step 2. Get a sheet of paper and divide one page into 4 sections, label each section as shown in the image.
Step 3. Start with your Strengths and write as many as you can, communication, organisational skills, time management, dealing with people, team building, things like this. if you have trouble thinking of any then start with what makes you happy.
Step 4. Then go to your weaknesses and list those, this could be, saying no, poor communication, always being late. keep in mind a strength and threat could be the same. An organised person gets more tasks given to them as they get the job done, this could lead to a weakness of taking on too much.
Step 5. Look at your Strengths and Weaknesses and list the threats. This can come from Weaknesses and can also come from Strengths, again if you are supportive and always there for friends this can be a Weakness as you could be called upon and not say no, therefore not putting your needs first.  
Step 6. Look at all sections that have been completed and look where their may be some opportunities. If you never say no in fear of reaction of disappointing, you may need to learn to become assertive, if you have trouble communicating a communications course may be helpful. These are opportunities to address weaknesses and reduce threats.         

Here is an example of identifying a weakness and seeing the threat that is created.
A weakness may be you avoid conflict as you don't know how to deal with it and if you say something you may upset someone. This can happen in personal environments and work environments.
The Threat could be this means you never ask for what you want as this may lead to disappointment of fear of upsetting someone or not pleasing them, so you feel disappointed and unhappy about not having things or not going places you desire. Holding back can lead to unhappiness and feelings of being unfulfilled in many aspects of life. Dealing with conflict can be done in a very positive way so that everyone is happy or at least satisfied and no one is missing out. 

What is holding you back

Sometimes we hold ourselves back from doing what we truly desire mostly because of fear, What will they think, what if I fail, what if I look silly, what if i disappoint? sometimes we just don't know where to start. The good news is you can start here, next is the library, or an audio program, career advice or a short course. Their are many ways to get started but you need to have a clear plan of what you would like to do, so fist identify what holds you back. Sometimes its excuses I dont have the time, I dont have the money, in most cases its fear. Look at my acronym for fear and ask yourself if its real. In most cases its not but even if it is real you have to decide if you would like it to be different. Simply learning a better way to communicate can have a significant impact on everything that you do.

False
Evidence
Appearing
Real

Overcome

Make a Plan

Part of making a plan is finding the people or the course or even the resources that can assist in the plan being able to come to life. Resources can be people or things such as books and audio programs a short course or even setting a goal. What ever you want, you must plan and take action on that plan for things to be different. As you may have heard before "if you keep doing what you have always done you will keep getting what you have always got"

So make an action plan on what you are going to do today towards just one of your weaknesses and you will be on the road to better things today.


Example
Weakness - doing to many tasks and not getting the important tasks completed.
Threat - Deadlines not being met and tasks not being completed
Opportunity - Learn how to prioritise and not get sistracted
Action Plan - Plan my day before it started and prioritise and allocate times to be completed
Outcome - A more efficient day, completed tasks, less Stress 

 

We hope we have helped you fill in some of the Gaps.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

The power in language!



“Old dogs can’t learn new tricks” 

........YES THEY CAN!

 

This saying has been around for longer than I can remember and probably longer than my father has been around which is 67 years this May.  Like a lot of other saying that really don't make a lot of sense or are so far from the truth and this one is right up there.

No matter how old you are you can learn new tricks in fact you can achieve many great things. Just take a leaf out of Louise Hay book, she is a great example of a woman who went through many tragic experiences as a child and teenager and then recovering from Cervical Cancer as an adult, at the age of 70 she founded Hay House publishing and is living an extraordinary life.

At times our language can trap us into limiting beliefs, stopping us from reaching our true potential. Think about when you use the word try, I will try and get there, I will try and make this work, I will try to call you. This is one of the worst words for ensuring you have a good excuse, Rather than saying I’m not going to make it, or I don't want to attend or I can’t call you today. This language would free us from guilt and release us from great pressure at times.

What about the language of, I’m not smart enough, I’m not tall enough, I’m not educated enough, these limiting beliefs can stop us from going after what we deeply desire.

Listening to your language can bring about a greater awareness and then you have the ability to change the negative language to a more positive language. This brings about a more positive emotion which can reinforce what you want to achieve opposed to what you think you cant.

Simply reminding yourself and say “I can do this opposed to I will try. I am smart enough to achieve this, look at what I have done so far.

Self talk

Lets not forget about the language we are using in our head, the language that no one else can hear. This is just as destructive as we say this without anyone knowing we are. Listen to your self talk, is it limiting you from your true potential? This can be more harmful than what we say outside to others. The next time your language in your head is negative and limiting, instantly change this to what you really want and watch the changes occur.
 
Think about your language over the next few weeks (both internally and externally) and see where you can become more aware of using better, stronger and more positive language to get you moving in the direction of where you want to go. Then think about what you want to achieve and don't let your language or limiting beliefs hold you back.

Visit our website http://www.mantratraining.com.au/ and see what we have to offer or come and talk to us about creating language that supports your future.      
Or read about my journey to Kokoda, it was a year ago today that we walked proudly into the Kokoda Village......this was a time where my self talk got me through some very big challenges and I succeeded. It was one of the most rewarding things I have ever done and had my self talk not been in check I would not have succeeded.  
Donna Moulds  - CEO/Director

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

A Conscious Approach To Developing Skills


Is it time for a tune up?

At times we can feel a little stale in our industry or have an awareness our interpersonal skills, communication skills need a tune up? Do you want to climb the corporate ladder and develop leadership skills to enhance opportunity in your workplace, or change career?       Then read on……..
Keeping fresh and up to date with  skills can be a challenge, however it doesn’t have to be impossible. If you want to be a leader here are some of the skills you require,

  • Interpersonal skills 
  • People Management skills
  • Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP)
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Strategic thinking

Ensuring that skills are well developed allows you to become a greater asset to the marketplace which is critical in these times. Employers want to hold on to good staff and support their team for long term retention wherever possible.
Some of the strategies that I personally employ when it comes to developing skills are good old books and audio programs that align with my direction and my Goals. I know finding the time to sit and read books can also be a challenge, however well worth allocating the time. Every time I read a new book it takes me to a new level of knowledge and understanding both personally and professionally. I read a good balance of business books and personal development, and also some from the spiritual realm. Over the past 9 years I have been building up a brilliant library I ensure I have a good balance of books and Audio in the library.
University in the car………who ever invented the CD player in the car I am forever grateful. I don’t think you would ever get into my car without finding educational/inspirational material . If you spend more than 15 minutes a day in the car then this would be ideal for you to get an education whilst you are on your way to work or your next interview, this will get you in the mindset of success.
Mentors are a great way to ensure you continue to grow, mentors don’t have to be physically here, they can be the great philosophers or just some one that you are aspired by. Like-mindedness’ is something I think is an important key to greater success, surrounding yourself with like minded people supports the transition and implementation of new skills.
Another form of growth is the more formal approach, however at times this is a little harder to obtain especially when we already have a busy schedule. Mantra Training & Development have a very supportive environment that is focused on the participants and their specific outcomes. Whilst you may be in a classroom environment or learning on the job it is still about a personal approach. Understanding your needs is vital to the success of the specific training program and your long term goals.
Visit our website http://www.mantratraining.com.au/ and see what we have to offer or come and talk to us about a Training Needs Analysis to create a clear path for your future.          
have a look at some of our other Blogs!
Donna Moulds  - CEO/Director

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Keeping up Momentum in Business

When the momentum is flowing!

For a number of months now I have been listening to The Compound Effect with Darren Hardy. Now when I say for a few months I mean I am listening to it over and over again because I know  from experience as I develop new skills I hear more than I heard listening for the first time or the second time. I am very proud to say I am up to the 7th time of listening to the program and I still hear lots of information and strategies that resonates with me or I need to work on to build the muscle.

In The Compound Effect Darren talks about Big Mo....also known as momentum, and he confirms that Richard Branson, Bill Gates, and a number of others have this and that's how they got to where they are today. I look back over the years I have been in business and I can see the times when I have had Big Mo and when I didn't. 


Have you ever felt like you are on top of the world and everything you do and everything you touch is flowing beautifully and you feel like the hard work is paying off! You have it all coming together and your creating a great future. You seem to be thinking clearer and functioning at a high level day after day and achieving what you set out to do. The chemicals in your brain are amazing, you breath freely and effortlessly, you are in what I call flow. Also known as momentum when you are building on all the great things that come from hard work, focus, and commitment to get to the outcome .  

This is a time when "If you keep doing what your doing you will keep getting what you've got.Which is a great place to be, however we can become complaisant and back off a bit and then like the Merry go Round the momentum slows down and can even come to a screaming holt. Just like if you were pumping water, you pump and pump and after a few minutes you get a few drops and if you keep going the water will build up and then the momentum will cause it to flow consistently. If we stop pumping we stop getting the water. Well being in Business is the same....if you are building relationships and developing new clients then you need to keep up the momentum or it will slow down and even come to a holt and then you have to start all over again.

Over the past 6-8 Months we have been building up momentum with our web rankings and social media and what we know is, this is paying of, but if we stop even for a month we will loose all the progress we have made over the last 8 months. This would be both disheartening and detrimental to the business if we let this slide even for a short period of time. 

What do you do when you lose your momentum?

Lets break this down to easy manageable steps, with real questions that you need to ask yourself and your team if that's applicable.

  1. Where do I want to be or what do I want to achieve? In terms of progress or success or even if your not in business and you want to build your career.
  2. Have I been there before...If YES follow steps 1 and 2 below, if NO then go to step 3
    1. What was I doing that was working previously and then do it again better and more consistantly
    2. Identify what obstacles were there or are still there and remove them. 
  3. Set up a plan for what you want and be very specific and give yourself a time frame (Use the SMART goals process if it will help) 
  4. Find someone that is already there and do what they are doing. Take then to lunch and ask how they do what they do.
  5. Check in regularly to see you are making progress, have an accountability person to keep you on track.
  6. Keep using the strategies that work for you such as Potential, Action, Belief and Results (all in my last Blog)
You will soon see when you have momentum happening and just hold on tight and take the ride of your life.

When you believe you can achieve!

Donna Moulds

Monday, January 14, 2013

Success Follows Consistent Action

Are you consistently working towards your success?


Success comes when you keep doing what works, and when you keep doing what works you reach your goals. Have you ever met anyone that seems to have it all, and you wonder how they got it all?

If you were to ask them I can guarantee you that one of the strategies that got them everything was consistency. Think of a weight lifter for example, did they get the body shape or the toned muscles by being inconsistent....I think not....An athlete didn't get to their gold medal by training when they felt like it, and I bet if you asked a successful entrepreneur if consistency got them where they are today  they would probably declare YES with gusto.

Now you can also be consistent in doing the things that don't work and this will get you no-where. If you have ready any of my Blogs previously you will have read "If you keep doing what you have always done you will keep getting what you have always got" So what I am really saying is if you consistently do the negative things that don't lead you towards success you will not reach your success.

Anything success that is worthwhile will take a plan with a bit of passion, fight and belief in what you want to achieve. what ever you believe you can achieve with consistent action toward what you want.

I recently came across what Anthony Robbins calls the Holy Grail and what he explains in this diagram is so powerful. When you can understand the diagram you can truly get real with yourself and your potential.
Anthony Robbins

At the end of this really informative video Anthony Robbins gives a great explanation into why some take action consistently and others don't!

I have written a short blog this week as the video is long and really worth watching.

So go forth with passion and consistency and reach your dreams. I know I am.

Donna Moulds

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Use what you already have to inspire greatness!

What do you already have that you can use again.....what books can you read again to get your groove back in 2013? What can you listen to that will inspire you to move in the direction of your dreams? 

Dust off the cobwebs and use what worked before! Stop looking for new things to get you going and look at what got you started, can you revisit this? I think in some cases we are always looking for new books and things to motivate or inspire us, but when you listen to what is out there today, it was there 50 years ago. The same messages are there today that were there before I was born.

The reason the messages are the same is that the great entrepreneurs of today learned from the great men of yesterday. Think of Darren hardy (who) Success magazines Editor, he learned from the great Jim Rohn and Jim Rohn learned from the great Earl Shoaff and Earl Nightingale and Napoleon Hill and so on. All of the philosophy and lessons of life are passed down through the generations.....so my point here is don't always look for the new as like antiques its not new.

I recall in 2009 I was at a seminar in Sydney and at morning tea I was  meeting some great people, when a man asked me "Do you think this stuff works? I have a friend and she has all the Anthony Robbins material and books galore and her life is no better"!  Inside I was bursting wanting to see this Library of greatness, instead I calmed my excitement and responded by asking " Yes but does she do anything with it"? You see we can have the best Audio's, the best books the biggest library but nothing in our life will change unless we take action, first by reading or listening and secondly by taking action on the things we want to do better or not do anymore because they don't serve us well.


I have been a student for a very long time and will continue to be well into old age. I learned along time ago about university in the car with Audio and the power in reading great books about what we want to know or skills we lack and need to develop. i think we are in an exciting time where you tube is so accessible and we can really have any sort of information at our fingertips.

Something I think we forget is "what do we already have that we need to revisit"? I mean we all have a bit of a library of good stuff that has helped us move toward our goals or a learning of some kind. I have listened to my Jim Rohn weekend seminar more than a dozen times. I am listening to The compound effect for the 7th time, and I have ready a number of books many times. If you are starting out and don't have a library of your own, go and join one their FREE! or start with you tube and TED Talks, these are great and you will find almost any subject to listen too.

So look around you what do you have that you can dust off and read or listen to? why not start with this great video from Anthony Robbins "Why do we do what we do"?